SANAA - A US drone killed at least six suspected al-Qaida militants in Yemen's southeastern province of Maareb on Thursday, officials said, the sixth such strike in less than two weeks.
The strike follows Yemen's announcement on Wednesday that it had foiled a plot by al-Qaida to seize two major oil and gas export terminals and a provincial capital in the east of the country.
The drone killings also come after warnings of potential attacks by militants that pushed Washington to shut missions across the Middle East, and the United States and Britain to evacuate staff from Yemen.
Witnesses and local officials in Maareb, a mostly desert region where militants have taken refuge, said the drone fired at two vehicles suspected of carrying al -Qaida militants at dawn, killing six people.
Residents saw the two vehicles rise in flames and the drones circled the air for a while after the attack.